Richmond Public Schools is attempting to lower the dropout rate in their schools. Last month the district opened up a child care lab inside Armstrong High School. The center is an on-site daycare program that will serve students and their families. The lab will not only provide parenting skills classes for teens with children, but also provide students with the opportunity to become licensed child care workers.

“With this lab established, more students and parents will be impacted. What you see here is a fresh start for a lot of our students,” Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Brandon said.

Onsite daycare programs aren’t new, but of course with everything in life, there are critics. A high school in Gloucester, Massachusetts came under fire a few years ago recently, not only because of the “pregnancy pact” made my several students, but because of the day care they added on site in 1996. Some blamed the school for aiding in making pregnancy something glamorous.

“Clearly people are saying that it’s possible that the presence of the day care center may encourage teenage pregnancy,” Chris Farmer, superintendent of the Gloucester school system, said. “Since people have raised the question, clearly it would be wise for us to address the question.”

Farmer said he does not believe the Gloucester High girls considered whether the school had day care when they chose to have their babies. He said that public schools have a responsibility to help young mothers complete their education, and that the center has successfully done that for years.

“We expect people to make mistakes, and educators hope that people learn from mistakes,” the superintendent said. “If we as a society think that mistakes made by young people should permanently harm their life chances, than I would worry about that.”

Do you think in school daycares enable teen pregnancy?

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  • Lets be real. I doubt anyone who wasn’t planning on having sex (or keeping a baby) is going to have a change of heart because now they have access to childcare for a year or two. Most teens (and adults for that matter) aren’t even thinking about unplanned pregnancy when they do the mattress mambo, so i doubt this is really influencing their decision. If anything, i’d hope that it would influence them to practice safer sex as they can walk down the hallway and see the consequences of going raw/the pullout method.

  • Ann

    thanks for this

  • What struck me in this piece is the notion that a daycare “glamorizes” pregnancy. Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve visited one but I don’t recall a thing that was near glamorous about a day care center. NADA. If anything, it will be a teaching tool… more useful than those fake babies some health classes make kids tote around. Spend a shift in the daycare with a colicky baby and see how glamorous things seem.

  • Mom23Girls

    Everyone keeps saying “birth control”…”abortion”…whatever.

    I got pregnant with my twins while on birth control (Thankfully not in high school) and I don’t believe in abortion. I believe that if God blesses you with a child, then it’s meant to be. The hardships you face only make you stronger. Even as an adult it’s hard to raise a child (children in my position) and go to school. But with support from family, it’s possible. I’m about to finish up my Medical Assisting degree and have maintained a 4.0 GPA for 2 years while caring for 3 children. I do it all for them because I want them to know how important education is and how it’s mandatory in order to acheive a job where you can afford to live.

    I don’t see the problem with having daycares in high schools. I don’t see how it glamorizes teen pregnancy or promotes it in any way. If anything, it should sway other girls from wanting to be in the position of having to deal with stinky diapers and whining and crying. I believe that education is very important for anyone to succeed. Having daycare services provided will give these girls a chance to finish their high school education and go to college and be successful.